Barack Obama’s presidency has been filled with “firsts,” and next week he will accomplish another milestone. According to the Benchmark Reporter, President Obama will travel to El Reno, Oklahoma where he will become the first president to ever visit a federal prison.
The White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, reported on Friday that the president would underscore the administration’s focus on reforming and improving the nation’s criminal justice system.
Obama will address the NAACP conference in Philadelphia on Tuesday before heading to Oklahoma on Thursday. The medium-security facility houses 1301 inmates, including 248 who are held in a minimum-security satellite campus alongside the main prison grounds.
The trip will be filmed and included in a Vice documentary, set to air on HBO later this year. Vice founder Shane Smith, who will host the special, revealed that the documentary would offer viewers a first-hand look at how the president is addressing the problem of over-incarceration from a policy level.
Our nation has more prisoners than any other developed country in the world, and communities are becoming increasingly vocal about the impacts this has on families, and children in particular. The president is expected to issue an executive order next week as well that will cut the sentence times for nonviolent drug offenders.
Vice and President Obama have been working closely to address issues troubling the country and educate younger viewers about them ever since Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former White House aide, was hired as the media company’s COO last November.